Caribbean region must meet obligations to ensure successful Cricket World Cup

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) West Indies 2007 Inc., Chris Dehring, has said that the region must meet its obligations in a number of areas to ensure a successful cricket tournament.

He told JIS News that should the region fall down in any area of preparation, then the staging of the event would not be a success.

Among the 24 areas of preparation, which are outlined in the bid book, are venue development, transportation, matters of security and accommodation.

Citing venue development as the most important area in the preparation process, Mr. Dehring said that “we have to make sure that these stadiums are finished (not) somewhat finished; we need them absolutely finished. We cannot have painting on the morning of the event and we cannot have electricians still working on the morning of the event. Everything has to be tested and ready to go as a first class international stadium”.

Of equal concern is the logistics of persons moving around in the Caribbean, which will operate as a single domestic space, come February 1. This type of movement, Mr. Dehring noted, would depend largely on the resources of the region.

“There is no organizing body of a world event that has its own airplanes and local transportation. It has to depend on whatever resources that country has and the Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean is no different,” he pointed out.

“We are going to depend on the regional airlines and local transportation,” he added, noting that owners of taxis and buses would have to perform efficiently as they were an important part of hosting a successful cricket tournament.

Stating that security was another important area, Mr. Dehring pointed out that “no sport wants to be remembered for a terrorist attack”.

“If you remembered what happened in Munich in 1972 and even Atlanta in 1996 was scarred by that bomb going off in that park. Those have been the lasting memories of those mega sporting events and no host wants to be remembered for a particular security incident because those things live on forever,” he said.

The region, he boasted, had “a tremendous security architecture starting with our CWC master security plan, which dovetails into the national security plan, which dovetails into a regional security plan and also an international security plan, which involves INTERPOL and various governments that have been working closely with CARICOM to implement the kind of security that the region has never ever seen before”.

With the staging of the tournament just 60 days away, Mr. Dehring expressed confidence that any hiccups in the preparation process would be overcome. “At the end of the day, what keeps you going is the tremendous spirit of the West Indian people,” he stated.

Over some 49 days between March and April, the region will host the ICC CWC 2007, the world’s third largest sporting event.

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